Six days before expiration, Metro Council passes $68 billion regional transportation plan

Protestors wore red and assembled outside Metro headquarters before the vote. (Photos: Sarah Risser)

At their meeting Thursday, members of Metro Council voted 6-1 to pass the most powerful and influential transportation plan in the region. The 2023 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) includes over $68 billion in investments on 771 projects across 24 cities and three counties. It also enshrines policies that will have vast influence on how funding and capital project implementation decisions will be made for the next five years.

It’s important to keep in mind that the RTP doesn’t fund specific projects. It is just a “menu, not a funded plan” according to Catherine Ciarlo, Metro’s planning director. Local jurisdictions identify available funding and propose specific projects they’d build if/when the dollars become available. That being said, the 578-page, federally mandated plan sets into motion how cities and local jurisdictions must plan road and mobility networks.

Thursday’s vote updates the 2018 RTP that was set to expire December 6th. That abbreviated timeframe meant Metro Council had no choice but to adopt it lest they wanted to throw the entire region into a chaotic federal funding blackout. That reality was not normal. The vote was supposed to happen months ago, but Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) that develops the RTP, saw their agendas “blown apart” (in the words of Metro Councilor Christine Lewis) for several months due to the need to discuss tolling, which set back the timeline.

The foregone conclusion that the RTP would be adopted Thursday didn’t stop dozens of activists from climate group Extinction Rebellion (XR) from airing strong concerns during a pre-meeting protest outside Metro headquarters in northeast Portland.

Wearing all red, XR volunteers held signs that read, “If you build roads, cars will come,” “Cut roads, not transit,” and “Better transit, not cars.” They followed up that action with testimony before Council.

“In the midst of a worsening climate emergency, when we must drastically and quickly reduce emissions,” said XR’s Diana Meisenhelter during official testimony, “This is a plan for the past, still car and roadways-centered, instead of what we desperately need for safe and sustainable transportation this critical decade and beyond.” Meisenhelter and several others hammered Metro Council members over the funding allocations in the plan.

“When 67% of the people in Clackamas County get up in the morning and have to go to three other counties to work — commutes that are not not easily done by bike or pedestrian or bus or transit or even by auto at this point — then we have some real equity needs within our region.”

– Lynn Peterson, Metro Council president

Economist and No More Freeways co-founder Joe Cortright questioned how Metro modeled the climate impacts of the RTP’s proposed investments. “The climate analysis is simply greenhouse gaslighting of the public. The RTP is a cover-up for continued auto-dominated transport and transportation policy,” he said.

The funding imbalance concerns were not without merit — especially when you consider that the six desired outcomes of the plan include “vibrant communities,” “clean air and water” and “leadership on climate change.”

Of the $68 billion in total (near and long-term) funding and projects listed in the new RTP, $19.2 billion (including $6 billion for the Portland-Vancouver I-5 widening project) will go toward “throughways capital,” “roads and bridges capital,” and “freight access” projects, while $2.7 billion go to “transit capital,” and $3.1 billion goes to “walking and biking.” The plan sets aside an estimated $43 billion for operations and maintenance.

But while the majority of public testimony was sharply critical of the plan and urged councilors to reject it, there were notable voices who spoke highly of it.

Indi Namkoong, transportation justice coordinator with nonprofit Verde, served as a community representative on a Metro advisory committee that helped develop the plan. In her testimony she pointed out several “ambitious elements” that she felt are “really worth celebrating.” The leader of land-use nonprofit 1000 Friends of Oregon Brett Morgan also supported the plan, as did The Street Trust Executive Director Sarah Iannarone.

Among the wins these advocates celebrated (as part of the Getting There Together coalition) are groundbreaking new policies that aim to: increase spending transparency at the Oregon Department of Transportation; reform how projects are selected in the next RTP (2028); increase accountability around megaprojects; and a long-awaited update to Metro’s Regional Mobility Policy that finally shifts the main project development metric away from motor vehicle capacity (a.k.a. “level of service”) and toward a broader, people-centered calculation that includes bicycle riders, walkers, and other non-drivers.

When it came time for council members to share their thoughts, they first asked staff to address all the substantive criticisms that were shared during public testimony. Staff appeared to adequately quell councilor concerns by assuring them that anything built as a result of the RTP will still go through many layers of review, that the investments meet state targets for greenhouse gas emissions and other metrics, and that voting “no” would throw the region into disarray given the existing RTP’s expiration in just five days.

Before casting votes, council members acknowledged that the investments and projects aren’t exactly in line with Metro’s stated goals and values; but that the name of the game is progress and compromise.

Councilor Ashton Simpson, who represents District 1 (east), summed up that compromise well before he voted “yes”:

“The support of this plan from East County cities — Fairview, Troutdale, Wood Village, Gresham — was unanimous, because one they need those projects. I know that there are projects in this program that are big, and they’re coming from one entity [ODOT], but underneath all of that there are some really good projects like the Halsey Main Street project that will help support three cities and makes sure pedestrians have access to businesses housing, and other things that make a complete life.”

Councilor Mary Nolan was the sole “no” vote (as she was when Metro voted in support of the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program last year), and they did so with confidence it would pass anyways. Nolan represents District 5 which includes Northwest and North Portland, portions of Southwest and Northeast Portland, plus the city of Maywood Park and part of Washington County. Nolan said the funding allocation in the RTP, “falls way short” of the region’s goals. “If we started this process with clear, authentic commitments to the goals in this document,” they said. “And we took the dollars available and asked ourselves, collectively, ‘How do we use those dollars to best deliver on those goals?’ The list we came up with we look very different than the one that’s before us today.”

For Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, the passage of the RTP is her most significant transportation achievement to date and an opportunity to put the disappointment of the failed 2020 transportation funding bond measure even further behind.

Before her “yes” vote, Peterson made it clear the plan required compromise from people with very different views on transportation. “When people don’t have ownership across this entire region, nothing will happen. And if nothing happens, then we are worse off than we were before. So progress is actually being made. It may not be made at the rate people want, but we need to move forward,” she said.

Peterson spoke on the value of “region-wide agreement,” and projects that will create living-wage jobs. Peterson then left no question about why she believes the road expansion projects in the plan are necessary. “When 67% of the people in Clackamas County get up in the morning and have to go to three other counties to work — commutes that are not not easily done by bike or pedestrian or bus or transit or even by auto at this point,” Peterson said. “Then we have some real equity needs within our region.”

Then, after underscoring the urgency for replacing the I-5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver (another controversial freeway expansion project prioritized in the plan), Peterson said, “I am interested in moving forward. I am not interested holding us in a pattern where we don’t actually achieve any of these objectives.”

And with that, our region’s transportation plan was passed and will be the law of the land effective December 7th.

— Stay tuned for more detailed coverage of what’s in the plan and how it will impact investments in the coming years. Learn more about the 2023 RTP on Metro’s website.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Dave
Dave
2 months ago

Council President Peterson’s quoted comment is merely reflective of the predominant voices at the JPACT and ‘feeder body’ regional decision making/recommending tables. There simply is no cohesive progressive counterargument to the narrative put forth by those JPACT reps from small cities or more rural/suburban counties who endlessly complain about a lack of transit, but literally do nothing to solve that problem.

Clearly there’s interest and support for making different transportation investments in the Portland metro region – ones that are supportive of and supported by more climate-friendly land uses – however when it comes to defining whatever vision that is and in being strategic about implementing it within the framework of existing decision making, we’re coming up short.

Without an orchestrated strategy that can either drown out or get the ‘do nothing’ JPACT crowd on board, we’re not going to see substantial change in the status quo anytime soon. Love it or hate it, the closest our region has come in recent years to something transformational was with the Get Moving 2020 package of investments that failed at the ballot. Despite all of its flaws, there were some good projects that would be in development or under construction today.

At a minimum, it would be nice to see a more coordinated progressive transportation voice at JPACT – one that can counter the dominate narrative and heck, even take up some airspace to reduce the amount of time the committee is subjected to the do nothing folks. Even better would be starting the work needed to put forward a compelling counterproposal at the regional and state level (see Minnesota’s recent HF2887) that will get this region on track for a better transportation future. Of course, that likely means a different mix of project investments, but it could also mean reforms/governance changes at Metro (see Houston’s recent Prop B), ODOT, and TriMet, more progressive transportation policies, and embracing of new funding models to name a few.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

The RTP link included for this story goes to a Metro website, but where is the link to download the updated 2023 RTP? All I can find are downloads for press releases, old RTPs, and summaries, but not the document itself.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

Thank you for the link.

dw
dw
2 months ago

“When 67% of the people in Clackamas County get up in the morning and have to go to three other counties to work — commutes that are not not easily done by bike or pedestrian or bus or transit or even by auto at this point,” Peterson said. “Then we have some real equity needs within our region.”

Oh no! Those poor people in Happy Valley who choose to live 30 miles from work in their single-family feifdoms can’t get to work in the morning unless 205 has a minimum of 18 lanes in either direction. Seeing as their ridiculously scaled commutes are already apparently impossible, the least we could do is make sure they’re comfortable by using taxpayer dollars to subsidize their Hummer EVs and electric F150s.

Lazy Spinner
Lazy Spinner
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

I’ll never understand why some people choose not to live in crumbling post-war housing near parks overrun with homeless encampments. Who doesn’t enjoy cleaning human feces and used syringes off of their front lawns? Rampant property crime, car break-ins, catalytic converter theft, and random strangers following your kids to their bus stop is just part of the rich tapestry of urban living! I just read that Tri-Met is a real bargain because you get a ride to your job and a good chance to sample some free fentanyl. What about all of those special taxes you get to pay each year just for living inside the Portland city limits? Where does the money go? I don’t know! I’m sure that our fine elected officials are using it to make the city a better and safer place, right?

Sarcasm aside, people living in Happy Valley, Tigard, or Wilsonville are not evil. Many were forced by home prices, school quality, expanding families, and other circumstances to move further afield. The city did nothing during the go-go years to keep Portland affordable and now they are paying the price for that with declining population and tax revenues. Metro has a broader, more diverse constituency to serve and has to consider the needs of voters beyond close-in East and North Portland. There is a lot to not like about all of this, but we shouldn’t be blaming and punishing people just trying to provide for family and trying to live their little piece of The American Dream while living on this rock. Ultimately, that just creates more enemies of alternative transportation and makes us look like self-righteous losers.

Patty F.
Patty F.
2 months ago
Reply to  Lazy Spinner

Comment of the Week! Thank you Lazy Spinner for posting some balance in what can be an unbalanced comment section.

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to  Lazy Spinner

Sarcasm aside, people living in Happy Valley, Tigard, or Wilsonville are not evil. Many were forced by home prices, school quality, expanding families, and other circumstances to move further afield.

Happy Valley has the highest median income in the state, Tigard the seventh highest, and Wilsonville the 13th highest. These are wealthy suburbs with some of the highest housing costs in the Metro area. All three cities have higher housing costs than Portland (with the exception of Tigard homeowners without mortgages). And it’s particularly funny that in jumping to the defense of Happy Valley, you pull in Wilsonville and Tigard – two cities in Washington County that have historically been connected to Portland via passenger rail.

I’ll never understand why some people choose not to live in crumbling post-war housing near parks overrun with homeless encampments. Who doesn’t enjoy cleaning human feces and used syringes off of their front lawns? Rampant property crime, car break-ins, catalytic converter theft, and random strangers following your kids to their bus stop is just part of the rich tapestry of urban living! 

We’ve had a lot less catalytic converter theft since they busted the ringleaders in *checks notes* Lake Oswego.

 I just read that Tri-Met is a real bargain because you get a ride to your job and a good chance to sample some free fentanyl.

I hope you don’t use paper money, which is famously covered in trace cocaine.

PS
PS
2 months ago
Reply to  Will

You’re somehow surprised that the people able to buy more expensive homes than Portland residents and have jobs that pay more than Portland residents, got smart to the fact that on a per capita basis they are contributing more to Metro and getting less? And asking for more is an affront to the needs of Portland residents who have never ending requests for more expensive things they don’t use?

Good reminder on the Wilsonville connection to Portland via rail, I always forget how convenient it is to take 30 minutes to get to Beaverton and another 20 minutes to Portland rather than driving in my car in 50% less time.

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to  PS

Well I’m sure all of Lynn Peterson’s investments in Happy Valley will do wonders for your commute from Wilsonville.

PS
PS
2 months ago
Reply to  Will

I am not a zero-sum dogmatist, so if they make improvements there, where there is a need, that is fine by me.

Bryan
Bryan
2 months ago
Reply to  Lazy Spinner

Exactly. I bought in Washington County because housing wasn’t affordable to me in Portland. So many others are in the same boat. Our region has doubled in size and maintains shitty, not-well-connected infrastructure. Just making better connections off-highway would solve so many of this region’s traffic woes. The other elephant in the room is that most traffic is parents bringing their kids to and from school. Every summer it’s amazing how clear the roads are – it’s not a coincidence. People don’t make lifelong housing decisions based on where their children go to elementary school.

EP
EP
2 months ago
Reply to  Lazy Spinner

I could forgive Happy Valley a bit more if they hadn’t gone all-in on sprawling McMansions and packed developments in the past decade. Like, hey that’s cool the UGB expanded and people sold their farms and green spaces and you got developers to build all this housing. But how do people access transit and such from all these brand new developments y’all fast-tracked with little to no attempt at unifying things with an eye towards cycling, transit, and the future?!

 
 
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

What a disgusting classist comment. You do realize that most lower-income people are being priced out of Portland and forced to live far away from their jobs because the housing in Portland proper is no longer affordable to them? You want to change people’s commuting behaviors? Then make it possible for people to live next to their jobs by upzoning, building affordable housing, and the like. Don’t just punish people who can’t afford our city now.

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to   

You do realize that Clackamas County has significantly higher median income than Portland, right? In fact, of the 4 counties in the Metro region (including Clark), Multnomah has the lowest median income. It also has the lowest rents and the highest poverty rate. People who get priced out of Portland either leave the Metro or move to Gresham. Trying to paint Clackamas County, let alone Happy Valley as the last refuge of the impoverished in the Metro area is farcical verging on gaslighting.

 
 
2 months ago
Reply to  Will

I do realize that, but that’s not the case for all people living in the suburbs. Happy Valley perhaps was a poor example for me to have piggybacked off of, but take somewhere like Aloha or Gladstone (or East Portland, Gresham, or Hillsboro for that matter) as more representative of the point I was trying to make. The reason MultCo has the lowest median income is due to places like East Portland or Gresham, not due to the completely gentrified and unaffordable Inner Eastside.

Bryan
Bryan
2 months ago
Reply to   

Bingo!

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to   

Hillsboro, Aloha, and Gladstone all have higher median income a than Portland and higher rental costs. The suburbs are a good bit wealthier than you think they are.

Bryan
Bryan
2 months ago
Reply to  Will

This didn’t happen until Covid.

donel a courtney
donel a courtney
2 months ago
Reply to   

Where does this idea come from that Portland is more expensive/upper class compared to the suburbs? Its still part of the same classism or need to feel superior.

People aren’t being forced out to the suburbs. They go because thats where they feel more comfortable. For one thing Portland politics aren’t for everyone. For another, people like feeling like the government is functional and taking care of basic livability concerns.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

Also people like a little space between them and their neighbors. Have you seen the new construction in Portland? Dense AF.

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

This designer of public transit systems applies basic principles of “mixed-use, infill, pedestrian friendly, transit oriented development.” These principles lead with “diversity” rather than “density,” ie, an economically ‘diverse’ mix of uses. Density without diversity increases the distance between home and workplace, shopping, services, amenities, etc, and makes residents dependent on driving for every purpose. Just as suburbs lack a mix of uses, so too high density urban districts that lack economic diversity are even moreso overrun with traffic. The most powerful members of the Portland Business Alliance (Chamber of horrors) are related to automobiles – finance, insurance, marketing, sales, Construction of roads, car-dependent housing and commercial areas. PBA & Portland Prosperity for the already prosperous development commission together build a car-dependent society everywhere worldwide.

Bryan
Bryan
2 months ago

Hilarious and woefully out-of-touch comment.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

JPACT is technically a joint project of both Metro and Southwest Washington (Clark County, Vancouver, & WaDOT) – it’s a “bi-state MPO” or metropolitan planning organization, which every urban area nationwide of over 50,000 is required to have by federal law – there are hundreds of MPOs, including many bi-state and even tri-state ones. What is interesting is how different they all are. There are no federal rules on how they are set up, how they are managed, or even if their boards are elected (rare) or appointed (extremely common). Coming from North Dakota when I moved to Portland in 1997, I had assumed (wrongly) that Metro handled both the Oregon and Washington urban areas, but no, it’s just Oregon. In North Dakota, Minnesota, Oregon, & Washington an MPO is a separate government entity, not part of any county or city government, and naturally I assumed (again wrongly) that this was so in every state.

I currently live in a metropolitan urban area of 1.6 million people in north central North Carolina, an area called locally the Piedmont Triad. It has 3 medium-sized industrial cities – Greensboro with 300,000 residents, Winston-Salem with 275,000, and High Point with 145,000. 50 years ago all 3 cities were roughly the same size, but Winston-Salem has been slowly shrinking and High Point shrank a lot when the tobacco and textile industries died. There are lots of smaller communities and unincorporated urban areas too, just like in Oregon. Our metro area is divided into 3 distinct MPOs, each centered on the 3 cities, plus one Rural Planning Organizations (RPO) called the Piedmont Triad Regional Council. Our MPOs do exactly what Metro does, except they aren’t allowed to work together (by state law) and they don’t deal with garbage. Now here’s the weird thing: each MPO is run as an entity within the DOT of each of the largest cities – as if the portion of Metro that covered Portland, Maywood Park, and Milwaukee was an internal division of PBOT, while the portion of Metro that covered Clackamas and East Multnomah was run within the City of Gresham DOT. The RPO on the other hand is a separate government entity, dependent on the towns and counties it serves.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

David, your comments reflect the impenetrable complexity of these transportation programs, which seem to be designed so that no one can actually understand them.

We just need streets and roads we can bike on. Every road should be as easy to bike on as it is to drive a car on, which is clearly not the case in most places.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

I have found that transportation planning boils down to only a few basic principles (not in any particular order):
-There’s never enough money, not even close, to maintain what you have let alone build new crap, nor will there ever be;
-Transportation infrastructure is primarily built to support the egos of politicians, secondarily the egos of the powers that be (whoever they are); moving people and goods comes in around 14th or so;
-Human beings are inherently irrational, but strongly desire rational explanations for even irrational decisions that are made and believe the shit they are told by elected officials, planners and engineers;
-Engineers mean well, they even believe the lies they shamelessly tell to elected officials and the public;
-Planners mean well, but in a kinda dumb way, for after all, Any Idiot Can Plan (AICP);
-Transportation infrastructure and maintenance (as well as water and sewer) is primarily funded through “deficit financing” through municipal bonds, a pyramid scheme whereby your grandchildren pay off the debt;
-The public perception of an idea is much more important than any sort of practicality of that idea;
-Cynicism, chronic naivety, and a thick skin are required for any effective community activism, otherwise you’ll go nuts;
-Documents like the RTP, MTIP, STIP, TSP, and so on are at best Christmas lists, about half of which are known costs (socks and underwear), about 20% is stuff wished on to you by other agencies (the sweater from grandma and the pre-read book from you brother), and the other 30% is wishful thinking that will never actually get funded (the toys you really want.)

Once you understand these principles and their feedback relationships, community advocacy becomes much easier and fulfilling.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Well, that’s encouraging. 😉

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

Thanks for reminding me why I don’t give $$ to The Street Trust anymore. They seem to be in bed with all of the entities that are worsening the ongoing climate catastrophe.

Joseph E
2 months ago

Re: “When 67% of the people in Clackamas County get up in the morning and have to go to three other counties to work — commutes that are not not easily done by bike or pedestrian or bus or transit or even by auto at this point,” Peterson said. “Then we have some real equity needs within our region.”

I’m certain that 67% of the population of Clackamas county does not commute to another county every morning. Perhaps Peterson meant to say that 2/3rd of commuters in Clackamas are working in another county? I’d like to see data on that. I suspect only a small fraction of the population of Clackmas county is working across county lines.

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to  Joseph E

65% of Clackamas workers (about 125K people) are employed outside of the county (so about 27% of the total population). 59K work in Portland, ~ 6K each work in Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton, Wilsonville, and Gresham. Another 4.5K work in Salem. The remaining 30K work in other places, but not in huge numbers it seems. Now, mind you, that’s all of Clackamas County, and Metro’s boundaries don’t cover the whole county by a long shot.

Joseph E
2 months ago

If the metro council is truly concerned about the needs of commuters in Clackamas county, why are they planning on spending 1/3rd of the long-range capital funding on only one project, the I-5 widening between Vancouver WA and Portland? I doubt this bridge is used by more than a few dozen people commuting from Clackamas.

The $6 billion planned for that one freeway is 4 times higher than the planned transit investment and 3 times higher than the total plans for walking and biking. And unlike the walking, biking and transit plans, which depend on getting outside funding, ODOT and WA actually plan to fund the freeway widening.

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  Joseph E

Right, like let’s make some investments that make Clackamas co more accessible for biking and transit rather than doubling down on car-centric sprawl.

fselker
fselker
2 months ago

It’s striking that $30 billion of the 68 billion (45%) goes toward transit.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  fselker

Yes, but isn’t that the entire Trimet budget including capital investments? Trimet provides service for the entire region, not just Portland.

Bryan
Bryan
2 months ago

Washington County is again a net donor to the RTP and getting only a fraction of the benefit despite while needing it the most out of all 3 counties.

Todd/Boulanger
2 months ago

I love Lynn’s past work at LakeO and WSDoT, but reading her quote that BP highlights…I have to wonder if she has now been fully ‘captured’ by the vehicular status quo at METRO. The focus on Mobility – to work sites – above all else as a solution to the work <> housing <> school locations imbalance. [I thought that is why “we” set up MPOs and other planning coordination agencies in the 1960s-1990s…but it seems only the road network is fully coordinated among jurisdictions. For the long term we need to get back to the future of the EcoCity Standards set out by Richard Register in the 1980s (EcoCity Berkeley) where the metric is planning AND designing for ‘Proximity over Mobility’ and not Mobility at the cost to proximity.

Is it truly an “equity solution” if our working class families need to devote 1 adult FTE in the household to pay off the monthly car budget (1 car = $894 / 2 cars = $1788 / 3 cars = $2682 per AAA OR 2022) [all paid for after taxes] to reach their jobs from cheaper housing…and these car costs rival house rental costs.

https://ecocitystandards.org/urban-design/access-by-proximity/

“When 67% of the people in Clackamas County get up in the morning and have to go to three other counties to work — commutes that are not not easily done by bike or pedestrian or bus or transit or even by auto at this point — then we have some real equity needs within our region.” – Lynn Peterson

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

I have structured my entire life around living as close to my workplace as possible so I can always bike there (and even walk, in some cases). It ain’t easy, but you have to give up certain things to have that privilege.

The problem with us as Americans is we don’t think we should ever have to give up anything. We should be able to live in a big house with lots of land and then drive wherever we want or need to go in a short time via fast FREEways that the gov’t will always provide for us. That’s pretty much the essence of the deal every state DOT has made with citizens, and no politician has the chutzpah to be honest with voters (cf. Lynn Peterson) and tell them it just isn’t possible.

Amit Zinman
2 months ago

When you lump walking and biking together, that tells you all you need to know about how outdated this plan is.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago

“When 67% of the people in Clackamas County get up in the morning and have to go to three other counties to work…

In addition to what others noted–that her saying “67% of the people” instead of “67% of commuters” vastly exaggerates how many people are driving to other counties to work–I wonder if Metro’s planning is considering the impact of work-from-home.

Demand for office space is dead in Portland and many other places. The “everyone’s going back to the office after COVID” never happened. Is Metro planning accounting for work-from-home likely being a permanent condition, or ignoring it?

There must be lots of Clackamas County residents who’d love to skip spending an hour or more commuting daily, who also have jobs that can be done from home at least a few days per week. 100% of them already decided they’d rather live outside Portland (or Vancouver, Salem, etc.) so it makes sense many would prefer not driving into those cities to work, either.

Bryan
Bryan
2 months ago
Reply to  qqq

Traffic is now worse than it was pre-Covid, and it spread out more throughout the day.

SD
SD
2 months ago

Wow, it’s 2023, the destruction and of US cities by propping of wealthy suburban communities is more clearly understood and documented than ever, the importance of the devastating environmental harm of wasteful transportation practices is so obvious that it is even being discussed at the national level by the SoT, sustainable transportation practices are entirely accessible to planners and “progressive” Metro is equity-washing suburban colonialism with misleading statistics. The slow metamorphosis of Lynn Peterson from transpo-progressive to asphalt hawker is horrible to see.

JaredO
JaredO
2 months ago

Mary Nolan for the win.

Cannot believe the set of councilors who came into office as progressives and are signing off on spending 25% of all the non-maintenance dollars for a generation on a single gigantic highway expansion to benefit rich Vancouver commuters. (The “IBR” failure, which will probably go over those costs by 50%, meaning more than a third of all our available resources to one worthless project.)